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On Perceptions of Fairness: The Role of Valuations, Outside Options, and Information in Ultimatum Bargaining Games

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  • Pamela Schmitt

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Abstract

This study examines fairness perceptions in ultimatum bargaining games with asymmetric payoffs, outside options, and different information states. Fairness perceptions were dependent on treatment conditions. Specifically, when proposers had higher chip values, dollar offers were lower than when responders had higher chip values. When responders had an outside option, offers were higher and were rejected less often than when proposers had an outside option. However, a given offer was rejected more often when responders had an outside option. Therefore, similar to the first mover advantage, the “advantaged” or “entitled” player received a higher monetary payoff than they would otherwise. When there was complete information about payoff amounts (payoff conversion rates and outside options), rejections occurred more often, and given offer amounts were rejected more often than when there was incomplete information. When there was incomplete information, offers were higher in the initial rounds than in the final rounds. These results suggest that proposers made offers strategically, making offers that would not be rejected, rather than out of a concern for fairness. Copyright Kluwer Academic Publishers 2004

Suggested Citation

  • Pamela Schmitt, 2004. "On Perceptions of Fairness: The Role of Valuations, Outside Options, and Information in Ultimatum Bargaining Games," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 7(1), pages 49-73, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:expeco:v:7:y:2004:i:1:p:49-73
    DOI: 10.1023/A:1026210021955
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